tv FOX News Sunday With Chris Wallace FOX News August 30, 2009 6:00pm-7:00pm EDT
>> a classy guy. >> and that is a bad date. >> i haven't had dates like that. >> gregg: how many times have you had to pay the bill. >> don't get me started. >> gregg: that's it for you, i'm gregg jarrett, joined by juliet huddy. >> "fox news sunday." next. >> chris: former vice president dick cheney speaks out about the justice department decision to investigate possible cia abuses. the new administration's first 7 months. >> what do you think of barack obama. >> and his relationship with former president bush. >> chris: did you feel he went soft in the second term. >> dick cheney as you have never seen him before. exclusively, on "fox news sunda sunday". then, we'll bring you the latest on the explosive story we reported last week.
is the obama administration pushing a death book on our veterans, and ted kennedy's life and career. we'll hear from our sunday panel, salmon, lies son, bill kristol and juan williams, all on "fox news sunday." >> chris: hello again from fox news in washington. the obama justice department made big news this week, launching a review that could lead to the prosecution of cia officers and we'll hear from former vice president dick cheney, barack obama's leading critic when it comes to the war on terror, and friday we visited his vacation home outside jackson hole, wyoming and he told us he feels liberated now that he has left office and as you'll see, he was surprisingly candid, not only about this president, but, also, about areas where he disagreed with president bush.
>> chris: mr. vice president, welcome back to "fox news sunday." this is your first interview since eric holder decided to investigated the cia intelligence officials. >> i think it is terrible. president obama made the announcement some weeks ago -- the announcement some weeks ago that this would not happen and his administration would not go back and look at or try and prosecute cia personnel, and the effort now is based upon the inspector general's report, that was sent to the justice department five years ago. it was completely reviewed by the justice department in years past and they made decisions about whether or not there was any prosecutable offense there and found one and it did not involve cia personnel, it involved contract personnel, and that individual was sentenced, and is doing time and the matter has been dealt with. the way you would expect it to
be dealt with by professionals and now we have a political appointee coming back, and supposedly, without the approval of the president. going to do a completed review or another complete investigation and possible prosecution of cia personnel and we could talk the whole program about this negative consequences of that and the terrible precedent it sets to have an -- agents involved, cia personnel involved in a difficult program, that is approved by the justice department, approved by the national security council and the bush administration, and when a new administration comes in, it becomes political, and they may find themselves dragged up before a grand jury, and have to hire attorneys on their own, because the justice department won't provide them with counsel and it is a terrible, terrible precedent. >> chris: there are a lot of aspect you raise and let me review some of them. why are you so concerned about the idea of one administration
reviewing and investigating the actions of another one? >> well, you think for example, on the intelligence arena, we ask those people to do very difficult things and sometimes put their own lives at risk and they do so at the direction of the president and with the -- in this case we had the specific legal authority from the justice department, and if they are now going to be subject to being investigated an prosecuted, by the next administration, nobody goes towing sign up for those kinds of missions. it is a very, very devastating, i think, fact that it has -- effect it has on morale inside the intelligence community. if they assume that they are going to have to be dealing with the political consequences, and it is clearly a political move, i mean, there is no other rationale for why they are doing this. then, they'll be very reluck -- >> you think it is a political move, not a law enforcement move. >> absolutely. i think the fact is, the justice department has already reviewed the inspector general's report,
five years ago. and now, they are dragging it back up again and holder will go back and review it again, supposedly, to try to find some evidence of a wrongdoing. by cia personnel and they review will never be final any more and we can have somebody, a future administration come along, ten years from now, 15 years from now and go back and rehash all of these decisions by an earlier administration. >> chris: let me follow up on that. the attorney general says this is a preliminary review, not a criminal investigation. it is just about cia officers who went beyond their legal authorization. why don't you think it will stop there? >> i don't believe it. we had the president of the united states, president obama, tell us a few months ago there would not be any investigation like this. that there would not be any look back at cia personnel who were carrying out the policies of the
prior administration. now, they get a little heat from the left wing of the democratic party, and are reversing course on that. the president is the chief law enforcement officer in the administration. he's now saying, well, this isn't anything that he has got anything to do with. he's up on vacation, at martha's vineyard, and his attorney general is going back and doing something that the president said some months ago they wouldn't do. >> chris: when you say it won't stop there you don't believe it will stop there, do you believe it will become an investigation into the bush lawyers who authorized the activity into the top policymakers who were involved in the decision to have an enhanced interrogation program. >> i have no idea whether it will or not. but it shouldn't. the fact of the matter is the lawyers and the justice department who gave us those opinions, had every right to give us the opinions they did and now you get a new administration and they say we didn't like the opinions and we'll investigate those lawyers
and perhaps, have them disbarred. i think it's an outrageous precedent to set, to have this kind of i think intensely partisan politicized look back at the prior administration. i guess the other thing, that offends the hell out of me, frankly, chris, is we had a track record, now of 8 years of defending the nation, against any further mass casualty attacks. from al qaeda. the approach the obama administration should be to come to people involved in the policy and say how did you do it and what were the keys to keeping the country safe over the period of time and instead, they are out there now, threatening to disbar the lawyers who gave us the local opinions and threatening contrary to what the president originally said they will go out and investigate, the cia personnel who carried out those investigations. i just -- i think it's an outrageous political act, that will do great damage long term to our capacity to be able to
have people take on difficult jobs, make difficult decisions, without having to worry about what the next administration is going to say. >> chris: if the prosecutor asked to speak to you, will you speak to him? >> it will depend. on the circumstances. and what i think they are -- their activities are really involved in, i have been very out spoken in my views on this matter, i have been very forthright, publicly in talking about my involvement in these policies, and i am very proud of what we did, in terms of defending the nation for the last eight years and successfully. and, you know, it won't take a prosecutor to find out what i think, i have already expressed those views rather -- >> you say you are proud of what we did. the inspector german's report which was just released, from 2004 details some specific en tear gags -- interrogations and mock executions and one threaten with an electric drill and
khalid sheikh mohammed, water boarded 183 times and first of all, did you know was going on. >> i knew about the water boarding. not specifically in any one particular case but as a general policy we approved and the fact of the matter is the justice department reviewed all of those allegations. several years ago. they looked at the question of whether or not somebody had an electric drill in a interrogation session and it was never used on the individual or they brought in a weapon, never used on the individual. the judgment was made then, there wasn't anything there that was improper or illegal with respect to -- >> do you think what they did now that you have heard about it, do you think what they did was wrong. >> chris, my sort of overwhelming view is that the enhanced interrogation techniques were absolutely essential in saving thousands of american lives. and preventing further attacks against the united states and giving us the intelligence we needed to go find al qaeda and
find their camps and find out how they were being financed, and those interrogations were involved in the arrest of nearly all of the al qaeda members that we were able to bring to justice. i think they were directly responsible for the fact that for eight years we had no further mass casualty attacks against the united states, it was good policy, it was properly carried out, and it work very very, well. >> chris: even these cases where they went beyond the specific legal authorization, you are okay with it. >> i am. >> chris: one specific question about holder. the obama administration, you put out the statement, saying that you were upset president obama allowed the attorney general to bring these cases. a top obama official says, hey, maybe in the bush white house, they told the attorney general what to do, but, eric holder makes independent decisions. >> well, i think if you look at the constitution the president of the united states is the chief law enforcement officer in the land. the attorney general is a statutory officer, a member of the cabinet. the president is this one who
bears this responsibility. and for him to say, gee, i didn't have anything to do with it, especially after he sat in the oval office and said it wouldn't happen and holder decides he's going to do it and so now he's back to often -- and is claiming he's not responsible. i think he's trying to duck the responsibility for what is going on here. and i think it is wrong. >> chris: president obama has also decided to move interrogations from the cia to the fbi, that, under the supervision of the national security council, and the fbi will have to act within the boundaries of the army field manual. what do you think that does not nation's security and will we now have the tools if we catch another high-value target? >> i think the move to set up this -- what is it called the hig group. >> chris: yes. >> not even clear who is responsible, the justice department is, and they claim they aren't and fbi is responsible. and they claim they aren't and it is some kind of interagency
process. by which they are going to be responsible, for interrogating high value detainees. if we had tried to do that, back in the aftermath of 9/11, when we captured khalid sheikh mohammed, and -- the master mind of 9/11 we'd have gotten no place. i think, it moves very much in the direction of going back to the old way of locking at these terrorist attacks, these are law enforcement problems. and this isn't a strategic threat to the united states and i think it is... a direct slap at the cia, i don't think it will work. i think that if they were faced with the kind of situation we were faced with in the aftermath of 9/11, suddenly, capturing people that may have knowledge of the imminent attacks, and they are going to have to have meeting and decide who gets to ask what question, and who will mirandize the witness. i just i think it is silly and makes no sense and is not -- doesn't appear tribe serious move in terms of being able to
deal with the nation's security. >> chris: on another issue the cia stopped a program to kill or capture top al qaeda leaders, top al qaeda terrorists. and cia director panetta told lawmakers that you told the cia not to inform congress. is that true. >> as i recall -- and i frankly -- this is many years ago. but my recollection of it is, and the reporting i have seen, is that the direction was for them not to tell congress until certain lines were passed. until the program became operational. and that it was hand appropriately and other directors of the cia including people like mike heyden who was leon panetta's immediate predecessor talked about it and said it is all a, you know, shaky proposition, that it was well hand and that he was not directed not to deal with the congress on this issue, and that it is just not true. >> chris: the cia released two other documents this week, khalid sheikh mohammed
preeminent source in al qaeda. >> right. >> chris: detainee reporting pivotal for the war against al qaeda. while they say that the overall program got absolutely crucial information they do not conclude whether the enhanced interrogation programs worked. they just are kind of agnostic on the issue. and, then, there is what president obama calls the core issue. >> president barack obama: could we have got then same information without resorting to these techniques? and it doesn't answer the broader question, are we safer as a consequence of having used these techniques. >> well, these two reports are versions of the ones i asked for, previously. there is actually one that -- detainee reporting pivotal for the war against al qaeda and there is another version of this that is more detailed and happens not been released. but the interesting thing about these is it shows that khalid
sheikh mohammed and abu zubaydah provided the overwhelming majority of reports on al qaeda and they were as it says pivotal in the war against al qaeda and both of them were uncooperative at first, and that the application of enhanced interrogation techniques specifically waterboarding, especially in the case of khalid sheikh mohammed is what really persuaded him and he needed to cooperate. i think the evidence is overwhelming, that the eits were crucial in getting them to cooperate and that the information they provided did in fact save thousands of lives and let us defeat all further attacks against the united states and the thing i keep coming back to time and time again, chris, is the fact that we have gone for eight years without another attack. now, how do you explain that? the critics don't have any solution for that. they can criticize our policies, our way of doing business, but the results speak for themselves, and as well as the efforts we went to, the justice
department to make sent what we were doing was legal wand consistent with our international treaty obligations. >> chris: at one point the vice president showed us the view of majestic mountains from his backyard. i asked about the democrats' running battle with the cia, including nancy pelosi's charges the agency once lied to her. >> chris: republicans made this charge before, do you think the democrats are soft on national security? >> i do. i've always had the view, in recent years, anyway, that they didn't have strong and -- advocates on national defence or national security as they used to have and i worry about it. i think that things have gotten so partisan, that the sort of the pro defense, hawkish wing of the democratic party has faded and is not as strong as it was once. >> chris: now that he has been
in office for 7 months, what do you think of barack obama. >> well, i wasn't a fan of his when he got elected and my views have not changed any. i have serious doubts about his policies. serious doubts, especially about the extent to which he understands and is prepared to do what needs to be done to defend the nation. >> chris: now, he has stepped up the use of the predator drones against al qaeda and continued rendition, aren't there some things you support that he has done. >> sure, some of those things have been, the use of the predator drones, something we started, very aggressively in the bush administration and marrying up the intelligence platform with weapons, something we started in august of 2001. it has been enormously successful and they were successful, the other day in killing baitullah mehsud and i think all of those are pluses. but, my concern is, that the damage that will be done by the president of the united states, going back on his word, his
promise about investigations of cia personnel, who carried out those policies, is seriously going to undermine the morale, if you will, of our folks out at the agency. just today, for example, the courts in pakistan have ruled that and q. chq khan, the man w provided assistance to the libyans and arainians is released from custody and it is very, very important we find out and know long term what he is up to and so far he's the worst proliferator of nuclear technology in recent history and we have agents and people out at the agency who ought to be on the case and worried about it but they'll have to spend time hiring lawyers at their own expense in order to defend themselves, against -- >> the cia said they will pay for the lawyers. >> that will be a new proposition, always before, when we have had the criminal investigations, the fact is,
that the employees themselves have to pay for it. >> chris: what do you think of the debate over health care reform and the raucous town halls. >> i think it is basically healthy. >> chris: and what do you think of the health care reform issue. >> i don't -- well, it's an important issue but i think the proposals the administration has made are -- don't deserve to be passed, i think the fact that there is a lot of unrest out there in the country and that gets expressed in these town hall meeting with folks coming and speaking out, very loudly about their concerns, indicates that there are major, major problems, about the administration's -- what the administration is proposing. >> chris: there was a story in the "washington post" a couple of weeks ago, in the process of writing your memoir you have told colleagues about your frustration with president bush, especially in his second -- your second term. is that true. >> no. >> chris: that story was wrong. >> right. >> chris: the report says that you disagreed with the president's decision to halt waterboarding, you agreed with his decision to close the secret
prisons and you disagreed with his decision to reach out to iran and now. is that true. >> we had policy differences, no question about that. but, to say that i was disappointed with the president, isn't -- isn't the way it ought to be phrased. the fact of the matter it is, he encouraged me to give him my view on a whole range of issues and i did. and sometimes he agreed and sometimes he didn't. that was true from the very beginning of the administration. >> chris: did you feel that he went soft in the second term? >> i wouldn't say that. i think you will have to wait and read my book, chris for the -- definitive view. >> chris: is it sounds like you will say something close to that. >> no, i'm not going to speculate on it. i'll write a book that lays out my view of what we did. it will also cover a lot of years before i ever went to work for george bush. >> chris: will you open up in the book about areas where you disagreed with the president. >> sure. sure. >> chris: there is a question i
wanted to ask you for some period of time. why didn't your administration take out the iranian nuclear program? given what a threat i know you believe it was, given the fact that you knew that barack obama favored not only diplomatic engagement but actually sitting down with the iranians, why would you leave to it him to make the decision? >> it wasn't my decision to make. >> chris: would you have favored military action. >> i was probably a bigger advocate of military action than any of my colleagues. >> chris: do you think it was a mistake while you were in power, while your administration was in power, not to go after the nuclear infrastructure of iran. >> i can't say that yet. we don't know how it will ultimately come out. >> chris: but don't get the choice to make a 20/20 hindsight, in 2007, 22008 was i a mistake not to take out the program. >> i think it was important the military option be on the table. i thought that negotiations couldn't possibly succeed. unless the iranians really believed we were prepared to use
military force. and to date they are still proceeding with their nuclear program and the mattered has not yet been resolved. we can speculate about what might have happened if we followed a different course of action and i was an advocate of a more robust policy, than any of my colleagues. but i -- the president made the decision, and obviously, we purr cede sued the diplomatic -- >> do you think it was a mistake to let the opportunity, when you guys were in power, go, knowing that here was barack obama and he was going to take a much different... >> i'm going to -- if i address that i'll address in the my book, chris. >> chris: wilt be a helluva book. >> a great book. >> chris: was it a mistake for bill clinton with fwlesing of the administration to go to north korea -- blessing of the administration to go to north korea to bring back the two reporters. >> well, obviously the concern for the roar and their circumstances, but i think if we look at it from a policy standpoint, it's a big reward
for bad behavior, on the part of the north korean leadership. they are testing nuclear weapons and have been major proliferators of nuclear weapons technology and build a reactor in the syrian desert, have much like their own reactor for producing plutonium for nuclear weapons and probably are the worst proliferators of nuclear technology anyplace in the world today and there ought to be a price for that and instead, when former president of the united states goes, meets with the leader and so forth, that we are rewarding their bad behavior. and i think it is a mistake, you wouldn't have done it. >> no. >> chris: how concerned are you about the increase in violence in iraq since we pulled out of the major population areas, and, also, what do you make of the fact that the top shiite parties have formed an alliance tilting towards iran, and leaving out prime minister maliki?
>> well, i am concerned about iraq, obviously. i have been a strong supporter of our policies there from the very beginning. i think we made major, major efforts to take down the saddam hussein regime, and establish a viable democracy at the heart of the middle east and especially going through the surge strategy and -- in '07-'08, we achieved very significant results. it is important that we not let that slip away. and we need to be concerned, i think, in these... these days thsh beginning of the new administration would like to see them focused just as much on victory as they are focused on getting out. i hope that they don't rush to the exit so fast, that we end up in a situation where all of those gains that were so hard won, are lost. >> chris: given the increase in violence, given the -- some of these new issues in terms of the political lay of the land, given
president obama's plan to pull all combat troops out by a year from now, the summer of 2010, how cough dents are you, that iraq as -- is a stable, moderate country, is going to make it? >> i don't know. i don't know that anybody knows. i think it is very important that they have success from a political standpoint, i think the maliki government is doing better than it was at some points in the past. i hope that we see continued improvement in the iraqi armed forces, security services. but, i think to have a -- an absolute deadline by which you are going to withdraw, that is totally unconditioned, developments on the ground, i think there is a danger there that you are going to let the drive to get out overwhelm the good sense of staying long enough to make certain the outcome is what we want. >> chris: obviously this weekend the country is focused on the death of ted kennedy. what did you think of him.
>> well, i personally, i liked him. in terms of policy, there is very little we agreed on, he was a liberal democrat from massachusetts, i was a conservative republican from wyoming. so there wasn't much we had to work together on. on the other hand, i admired the fact that he got into the arena as much as he did for most of his professional life. and was obviously a very active participant. >> chris: how are you adjusting to life out of power. >> well, this is the fourth time i've done it, chris. so it's not my first rodeo, as we say. i'm enjoying private life, i just took my family on an alaskan crews for a week, the kids and grandkids and we have gotten to spend a great dial of time in wyoming, which as you can tell, here in jackson hole, is one of the world's finer garden spots. so, i have -- i think i've adjusted with a minimal amount
of conflict and difficulty, it has been pretty smooth. >> chris: what do you miss? >> oh, i am a junkie, i guess, all those years, i spent more than 40 years in washington. and enjoyed obviously the people i worked with. wrestling with some of the problems we had to wrestle with. i enjoyed having the cia show up on my doorstep every morning, six days a week with -- >> you miss that. >> with this latest intelligence. sure. >> chris: why. >> because it was fascinating and it was important stuff. and it kept you plugged in with what was going on around the world, and as i say, i'm a junkie from a public policy standpoint and went to washington and stayed 12 -- to stay 12 months and stayed 41 years. i liked it. i thought it was important. and i will always be pleased that i had the opportunity to serve. >> chris: do you miss having your hands on the levers of power? >> oh, i don't think of it in those terms.
but -- >> being able to effect things -- affect things and you feel strongly about the issues, do you miss the fact that you you are just another guy watching cable news. >> no and as i say i have been there before. and i left government after the first nixon term and went to the private sector and i left after the ford administration, and ran for congress. and then, left after the -- secretary of defense up and went to the private sector, so, these are normal kinds of transition. that you have to make, in the begin. and what i've always found is that there are compensating factors to living a private life, to having the more freedom and time to do what i wanted and to spend more time with the family which is very important. over the years, you know, i have sacrificed a lot in order to be able to do those things i've done in the public sector. >> chris: well, we wanted to thank you for talking with us and including in your private
life putting up with an interview from the likes of me. >> that's fine, i enjoy your show, chris. >> chris: thanks very much and all the best, sir. >> chris: vice president cheney is spending much of his time in wyoming, working on that book. but this weekend, he was going fly fishing. up next, the va is so -- the so-called death book. we'll follow up on the controversial story we brought you last week, back in a moment.
latest. >> urge them to use them. >> >> chris: i have a problem and too often on these shows, we say one person... >> chris: an explosive interview on an explosive subject. tammy duckworth, assistant secretary of the department of veterans affairs, defending use of the document "your life, your choices" but the interview raised almost as many questions as it answered. so this week, we did a fact check on the controversy. first, whether what criti c call the "death book" is actually being used. >> it will be out in 2011, not yet out. >> chris: wait -- that is -- secretary duckworth that is not true. >> chris: we checked again this week and secretary duckworth is wrong. on july 2nd, the veterans health administration reinstated the workbook for veterans, called "your life, your choices." and urged health care practitioners to use it. here's why it's so controversial. page 21 is a worksheet, in which veterans are asked to assess whether in certain situations
life would be difficult but acceptable, worth living, but just barely, are not worth living. situations like, i can no longer walk, but get around in a wheelchair. i am a severe financial burden on my family. i cannot seem to shake the blues. which raises the question, how much is the va pushing your life, your choices? >> let me make a correction there, chris, what our practitioners were told is to refer patients to any type of a tool. >> chris: duckworth is both right and wrong. in the vha handbook they tell doctors to provide written materials such as appendix c and at another point, other published resources. but the vha handbook specifically mentions only one document, "your life, your choices." now that there is a controversy the va flagged the washington book on the web site with this disclaimer, it is currently undergoing revision for release in va, the revisited version will be available soon.
which raises another question: >> chris: why have it up there at all, why not say we'll take it down. >> because we are bound by federal law... >> chris: we checked and could not find any law, forcing the va to keep the workbook on the web site. now, the va says it is -- it is obama administration policy and referred us to a march 9, white house memorandum. political officials should not suppress or alter scientific or technological findings and conclusions. the va now claims "your life your choices" was developed from federally funded scientific research. senator arlen specter, a member of the veterans affairs committee, was also on last week's show and reacting sharply. >> i think consideration ought to be given right now, to suspending it, pending hearings before the veterans affairs committee. >> reporter: steve boyer, top republican on the house committee also called for hearings and echoed specter's concerns. your life, your choices is obviously not suitable in its current form for veterans and
especially not for wounded war wrors. -- warriors. >> chris: the workbook is still on the government web site. but, late this week the va expanded its disclaimer." please note that portions of this document have been interpreted by some to be negative in tone and insufficiently plensed. the revision process is addressing these concerns." and we promise we will stay on the story. coming up, the obama administration investigates possible cia abuse of terror detainees. we'll find out what the panel, this. back in a moment. (mom) he needed everything for college:
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>> we will not do anything that would endanger the american people. or in some ways lessen our national security. >> as far as i'm concerned i think, the attorney general, eric holder, declared war on the cia. >> chris: well, that was some of the sharp reaction this week to attorney general holder's decision to reopen the
investigation into possible abuse of terror detainees by the cia. and it's time now for our sunday panel, bill sammon, washington managing editor of fox news and fox contributor, mara liasson of national public radio. bill kristol of the weekly standard, and juan williams also from national public radio. bill kristol what do you think of attorney general holder's decision to launch the inquiry, and what about this contentious from vice president cheney, that this is really all about policy bix and the president trying to play to his left wing. >> the justice department i think is -- eric holder a weak attorney general and never has been a strong man to stand up to pressure and they justice department is full of left wing ideologues and they wanted to investigate the cia and he talked about doing that in 2008 during the campaign and obama in 2007 talked about how we need to, you know, set the record straight and explore what really happened, and they are ignoring the fact, the career prosecutors and the eastern district of
virginia investigated this issue, and the cia report and the ig report, released this week, from 2004, it was available to the career prosecutors and they issued declining memos, why they thought they were not prosecutedable crimes from the career prosecutors in the justice department not bush appointmentees and eric holder reversed that and established the precedent a new attorney general comes in and reverses the decisions of previous employees and prosecutes people serving their country. . >> chris: juan. >> the thing to remember here is that vice president cheney in the interview with you, chris, said, the lawyers in the justice department have every right to give their opinion but the question is whether or not those opinions were politicized by vice president cheney and the white house and the like much that's information coming from cia was politicized because they were trying to satisfy exactly what the bush white house wanted in terms of information to justify military action in iraq or elsewhere. >> chris: let's got to the
issue, does it bother you that as -- exactly as bill says, in '04 the inspector general's roar was released, the bush justice department reviewed it and decided not to -- we're not talking about this entire interrogation program, we are talking about a dozen, maybe two dozen cases where cia officers went beyond the legal authorization in their interrogations and decided not procesecute and the obama administration said not to prosecute but to investigate. >> to investigate and this has been hanging out there and congressional committees an panels are looking to conduct inquiries and raises the question, why is the justice department or the obama administration failing to conduct its own investigation and make sure these things did not constitute a break with the law? because we remain a nation of laws. there is a story that versus -- got a lot of attention yesterday in the "washington post" about khalid sheikh mohammed, who, after undergoing waterboarding and sleep deprivation, was conducting tutorials, and yet,
there is no evidence, no evidence at all that this is the best way to get information, in fact, the sheikh said he lied. he lied, told red cross i lied, so they would stop the torture. >> chris: all right. i want -- brings to us exactly what i wanted to ask you, bill sammon. the story in the "washington post," for folks who didn't get a chance to read it is khalid sheikh mohammed who was waterboarded 183 times, then, became a kind of professor, he engaged in what were called terrorist tutorials and using a chalk board, to explain to u.s. intelligence officers exactly the structure of al qaeda, how it worked, and what they were planning, and the cia inspectors report does not come to a conclusion about whether or not it was the waterboarding or other enhanced interrogation techniques, that changed how they -- khalid sheikh mohammed's mind and vice president cheney left no doubt that is exactly what changed his mind. >> at some point common sense enters into this and before he was water boarded he was very
resistant and after he was waterboarded he is singing like a canary and giving tutorials and became a human rolodex of information about al qaeda. and i think the really crucial thing here, and i think what cheney was essentially saying is that president obama continues to take america off its war footing and started after he got into office and announced he'd close gitmo and move the terrorists out of the military tribunals into civilian court. and you couldn't even say war on terror and had to say overseas contingency operation, and now, this week, two more decisions decisions, one to possibly prosecute cia agents and, two, is the idea to perform the nebulous interagency unit run out of the white house that will be in charge of interrogating high value detainees, all of these decisions are part of a continuum which is to take america off its war footing, and erects the walls between agencies such as the fbi an cia, which bush and cheney had torn down, and rolls back the
authority the cia which is exactly what the opposite of what the bush and cheney folks did in the wake of 9/11 and cheney is deeply concerned and i think a lot of americans are, too. >> chris: mara i want to go back to the question about the effectiveness of the enhanced interrogation, and bill is exactly right. the record is that khalid sheikh mohammed was not cooperative and he was waterboarded 183 times and started singing like a canary. >> the thing that is impossible for the opponents of these techniques to prove is that, their thesis is you could have got then same information with different techniques and we'll never know that and it certainly looks like he -- the techniques -- >> with them we got something. >> but that is frait separate from what eric holder is proposing to do, revisit whether any cia operatives broke the law and is not talking about going after the people who developed the policy that allowed them to use the techniques, he's about low level people and is trying to do a balancing act, he is
starting an investigation which satisfies a lot of the people inside the justice department, and the left of the democratic party, but, he said the investigation should be narrow. and i think the best political outcome for the white house could be if john durham comes out into a -- >> the prosecutor. >> prosecutor chose tone do this, comes out in two or three months and says, i've come to the conclusion either there is not enough evidence to try these people or there are not enough witnesses or the prosecution is unwarranted or unwise, spierand think then, holder can say we gave it a careful look and didn't rely on the bush administration's conclusion and can put to it rest. >> chris: let me pick up on that, holder does not say it is -- he says it is not a prosecution and it is only limited to these few cases where cia officers or contractors went beyond the legal authorization, one, do you think it will stay that limited, and, two, what about cheney, who was quite open in our interview and said, those cases where they went beyond the
authorization i'm okay with that. >> he's okay with it because, career justice department attorneys looked at it and some of these people were disciplined internally and the guy when waved the gun around was called back the next day and reprimanded and -- we don't know what was put into his file and whether denied a promotion hand these things internally. and i hope the investigation stays narrow but this damage will have been done, today's wash post has an article the aic is demoralize and will we have an aggressive attitude on the part of the cia into tear gags and the cia is no longer in charge of it, that is the other stunning thing, the fbi is in charge of interrogating, usama bin laden if he's scalp toured and the fbi is a law enforcement agency and not in the business of getting intelligence, operational intelligence to disrupt plots. >> chris: a little time left, i want to switch subjects and i was fascinated in the interview, vice president cheney seemed to be starting to lift the veil about disagreements he had with president bush, especially about the decision on whether to take a military action against iran.
are you surprised by that. >> i'm stunned by it. i was curious as to whether or not there was some provocative, specific act committed by iran that he was -- led him to the conclusion we should take military action, there. i guess in general, he was worried about the development of their nuclear weapons. but, again, if he had added information, it would have been, you know, because literally you could set the middle east aflame with that kind of act and let me, just if i could say quickly, two things, one in a democracy you do not torture people, it's against the land you we're having the discussion, fit works it's okay. no, it's not okay. you don't torture people and the second thing is, make america safer, no, in fact it led to our reputation in the world being diminished and people not sending forces with us to fight in iraq and ems where, and that doesn't help america. >> chris: we have to take a break here and i want to point out to the audience, that it is purely coincidental that the country has not been attacked
again since 9/11, when whee come back we'll look at ted kennedy's life and his place in history. back in a moment. above paef . - ( crowd gasping ) - ( chirp ) van gogh? ( chirp ) even steven. - ( chirp ) mansion. - ( chirp ) good to go. ( grunts ) timber! ( chirp ) boss? what do we do with the shih-tzu? - ( crowd gasps ) - ( chirp ) joint custody. - phew! - announcer: get work done now. communicate in less than a second with nextel direct connect. only on the now network. deaf, hard of hearing and people with speech disabilities access www.sprintrelay.com. some people like to pretend... a flood could never happen to them... and that their homeowners insurance... protects them. it doesn't. stop pretending. it can happen to you.
>> chris: over these last 20 years or so have you changed your view at all about the role of government? >> well, my view is that programs change but our values don't change. i will never give up on that. >> chris: that was senator kennedy here on "fox news sunday" in december of 2006. talking about the changing role of liberalism in american life and we are back now with the panel, so, juan, no matter how you felt about ted kennedy and his personal life and professional life, you had to be touched by the thousands of people who turned out in the
streets of boston, and washington over the last few days, telling stories about how he had helped them personally or just how they felt that he was looking out for them. you. >> you know, theodore mcarrick, the cardinal in washington was at arlington national cemetery and he said it was like we had not just the kennedy family there but an extended family, all of america. and i think it was an extended sort of irish wake with lots of laughter and tears and the like. and to my mind it was about the irish family and about the four brothers, now three buried right there at arlington, and president kennedy, of course, former senator, attorney general, bobby kennedy and ted kennedy, and the impact those -- that family had on america. you know, the irish tradition of up lift, speaking for the working poor, tremendous. >> chris: how do you reconcile the fact, bill, it is fair to say utility conservative, in your views with the -- would the fact that this was a fellow in the arena, obviously liberal, taking the country in a direction that perhaps you didn't admire, but, that he did have a lot of people whom he
touched and who felt that he represented them. >> hey i group up in an irish catholic working class neighborhood of cleveland, and where kennedy was a hero. and it was a democratic neighborhood and he was an effective legislator. there is no question about i and i saw the improve clip you showed from 2006 and during the claim you ask him about liberalism and so on and so forth and i notice that he was one of the few senators to vote against welfare reform, for example. so, in other words, there is liberalism and there is dogmatics liberalism and everybody, bill clinton signed welfare reform, it went onto, by most experts, analysis, greatly improve and drove done the number of jobless unmarried women and drove down child poverty but kennedy clung to the idea that you had to oppose that kind of thing. and so, yeah, was he an effective legislator, yes. was he flexible on ideology, no. >> actually. sorry. i disagree with that.
i mean, i think rhetorically he was an unbridled liberal and certainly carried the torch for it, in his -- as a politician. but as a legislator, i think he was much more of an incremental reformer. and he was with george w. bush for no child left behind and he was -- and i don't know if the bill would have passed without his support and teamed up with orrin hatch and all sorts of other, john mccain, all sorts of republicans to pass what he do, if he couldn't get the whole loaf he -- >> expansion of federal government and reagan wanted to do away with the department of education an george w. bush was this big government conservative who vastly expanded the role of government and education and that is why kennedy signed onto that. >> chris: where do you think liberalism, how much do you think it faded over the course of the last 30 years, since reagan became president, and can barack obama, bill, restore liberalism, and the idea that government in at least a lot of cases is the answer? >> i think barack obama could be a successful president, but, honestly it would be if he
followed bill clinton and not ted kennedy's model and if he goes to the center and says the country is not in the mood for amassing more debt and huge health care overly haul, the country is not -- 2008 election did not mean people had reversed their judgment, basically, the big government liberal programs don't work very well. and i think he has -- for president obama, the last few months of 2008 was kind of a new, new deal, a new moment for ted kennedy liberalism and i don't think it was and if he winds up in the center and does incremental reforms he might succeed but there is not much sign that he is doing that. >> chris: i want to talk about this media coverage of ted kennedy's -- ted kennedy since his death not only the amount of it, which was extraordinary and also this tone of it and want to put up the first pair paragraph of "the new york times" story on ted kennedy's death. the first paragraph, this week. senator edward m. kennedy a son of the -- one noefrs storied families in american politics, a
man who knew acclaim and tragedy in near equal measure and who will be remembered as one of the most effective lawmakers in the history of the senate, died late tuesday night. now, jesse helms, last year, jesse helms, the former north carolina senator with the courtly manner and mossy drawl who turned his hard edged conservatism against civil rights, gay rights, foreign aid and modern art, died early friday. bill sammon, i'm sure some people will be offended that i'm even make the comparison between these two men but that is a striking dinners. >> it is and there are two ways to rectify that obvious double standard and one would have been for "the new york times" to find something nice to say about jesse helms substantively other than his drawl and that is the preferable way to do it, when someone dies want to find something nice to say and the other way, they would have had to put something in the ted kennedy lead about chappaquiddick and the demagoguery, bobbit bourke and
all of that and either way you do it, it is unfair. and that was a striking example. >> chris: juan, do you think there is a striking difference in the way those two men were set off. >> well, i think you should be nice to people at the time of their death in general, no whaert their sense and in fact it was good journalism and look at the public impact jesse helms had on the country, it was dis tainted and opposition of civil rights an gay rights and look at the public impact -- >> wasn't he for something. >> yeah, he was for stopping those thing and what the lead said, i don't have any problem with that and chappaquiddick has been mentioned prominent -- >> not in the lead. >> but it's not like anybody is hiding wested ted kennedy's flaws, we know 'em. >> chris: all right. we have to leave it there, thank you, channel, see you next week and check out the latest edition of panel-plus where our group continues the discussion on our web site, foxnews.com/fns. up next, we hear from you.
>> time now for comments you posted on our blog, wallace watch and active and military had a lot to say about the va so-called death book story. imagine, a vet who worked at the va for 17 years. using the term life worth living and feeling like a burden to family could make our veterans to feel an obligation to check out. life is very precious ap this book has no given form to be given to our vets. and another veteran had a different take. >> please keep your comments coming, you can find us at fox news sunday.com. and that's it for today. havere